Weekly Links: Life in hockey’s minor-pro leagues; Critiquing perceptions of toughness in light of Rich Peverley’s collapse; CWHL and NCAA women’s champions crowned; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Really good read from Clare Austen on the reaction of some hockey fans to Rich Peverley’s collapse during a game a few weeks ago, with a critique of the “toughness” that many hockey people value over player safety. [Puckology]
  • Paul Hunter has a really insightful long-form piece about life for players and staff on the Brampton Beast, a new team in the Central Hockey League. Really fascinating insight into life in pro hockey’s minor leagues. [Toronto Star]
  • … while in NCAA action, Clarkson University upset the heavily favoured University of Minnesota (which had lost just one game all season) to capture the NCAA women’s hockey title. [Puck Daddy]
  • Matt Drake gives a historical overview of black hockey players in hockey, beginning with the Eastern Canadian Coloured Hockey League in the late 1800s up to the present day collection of stars such as PK Subban, Evander Kane and Jarome Iginla. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

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Weekly Links: NHL in Las Vegas, Former OHL Player Speaks Out, Hockey in the Himalayas, and more

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Las Vegas joins Seattle and Quebec City has potential expansion cities. Although this would balance out the divisional alignment, Adam Proteau argues hockey in the NHL would be a risky venture. [The Hockey News]
  • Former OHL player Gregg Sutch, and former  teammate of Terry Trafford, provides some insight into the challenges faced by junior players. Sutch urges players to expand their personal interests outside of hockey and to seek help when needed.

Players, if there’s one thing I want you to all take away from this it’s to change the way you view yourself, and for the way everyone else views you. Don’t let hockey define you, let hockey be the game you love to play. Let hockey be your enjoyment and your getaway. [Buzzing the Net]

  • The Hockey in the Himalayas Project recently delivered hockey equipment to a youth group in India interested in playing the game. [Ottawa Citizen]
  • Avi Goldberg looks at what the new Hockey Night in Canada might look like starting next season as Roger’s Communications takes control of it. George Stroumboulopoulos, who will take over Ron Maclean’s role as host, commented that he’ll be more of a fan than a journalist, which Goldberg suggests might alter how the show is produced and perceived. [The Barnstormer]
  • The San Jose Sharks signed a 17-year old to a one day contract. Sam Tageson, who lives with a serious heart condition, had the opportunity to practice with the club and take part in the pre-game skate. [National Post]

  • As the NCAA hockey season comes to a close, more and more players will be signing professional contracts with NHL clubs. Andy Johnson provides some insight into how the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement impacts college players and their eligibility for NHL deals. [Bucky's 5th Quarter]
  • The CIS University Cup is underway in Saskatoon. You can catch all the games online at the CIS website.
  • Craig Custance writes about the continued growth of hockey analytics and how teams are evolving to capture useful information. [ESPN]
  • Sean Mcindoe provides an excellent overview of on-ice percentages, one of the key areas within hockey analytics. [Grantland]
  • Friendly reminder that the University of Alberta is hosting a public lecture on hockey analytics on Wednesday March 26th at noon (MDT). This session will be available on Livestream. [University of Alberta - Communications & Technology]

Weekly Links, Bonus Sochi Edition: Should the NHL participate in the Olympics?; The status of women’s hockey at the Games; NCAA hockey alumni at Sochi; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

Editor’s note: Not surprisingly, most of the hockey world is focused on the Winter Olympics currently underway in Sochi, Russia. However, there is still great hockey writing being done about non-Olympics issues. This edition of the Weekly Links is thus divided into two posts: on Friday we posted non-Olympics links, while this post is devoted exclusively to writing about the Sochi Games. We hope you enjoy both posts!

  • There has been a great deal of discussion about whether NHL players should continue to participate in the Olympic Games. Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, offered outspoken comments about the NHL’s participation in the Olympics, calling it “ridiculous.” [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Nick Cotsonika offers a good take on the dilemma posed to the NHL by Olympics participation, particularly given the popularity of the event with players like Zdeno Chara, who missed two Boston Bruins’ games to carry the Slovakian flag at the Opening Ceremonies. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • And Harrison Mooney also discusses whether the NHL should send players to the Games, arguing that the current situation “create[s] a situation where players have to serve two masters” – their club and their country. [Puck Daddy]

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Weekly Links: MLSE service workers strike, settle; Teenage boys must choose between CHL and NCAA; USA Hockey to ban fighting?

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the multibillion dollar corporation that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, settled with its striking concession and service workers this week. Final details have not yet been released, but the MLSE proposals included wage rollbacks or freezes for many employees. [Rank and File; Toronto Star]
  • Big news in junior hockey, as USA Hockey is looking into banning fighting at all levels of its amateur system, including the junior league the USHL. [SB Nation]
  • Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe has an inside look at the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which is headed by Brendan Shanahan and responsible for fining and suspending players for dangerous play. [Boston Globe]

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Weekly Links: Jon Cooper’s unusual path to NHL coaching; Politics of the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus; and more

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers. Please check out some of the great writing that is happening in the hockey media and blogosphere!

  • NHL coaches are typically part of an insular group and have long histories in professional hockey. Katie Baker has an interesting examination of an exception to this trend in her profile of Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper. Cooper left a career in law to become a full-time hockey coach and, against the odds, is now coaching in the NHL. [Grantland]
  • An old article (December, 2012), but one that is hugely important: how Belarus’ authoritarian President is using the 2014 World Hockey Championships to try to legitimize his rule. We will have a much more in-depth post on this topic early next week. [Open Society Foundations]
  • Support to ban fighting in hockey continues to grow in the medical field. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic, as well as Ken Dryden comment on the severity of head injuries caused by fighting. [Globe and Mail]
  • Jeff Marek works through some of the pro- and anti-fighting arguments in an attempt to stake out a middle ground in this polarizing debate. [Sportsnet]

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A Stipend or Restriction? Why CHL Players are Unable to Gain NCAA Eligibility

Image

Photo courtesy of unitedstatesofhockey.com

What changes need to occur to allow Canadian Hockey League (CHL) major junior players to be granted eligibility to play in US college system, the NCAA? The NCAA requests two alterations: 1) remove the stipend 2) remove the classification of “major” junior. The letter below received by the CHLPA from Natasha Oakes, Assistant Director of Academic and Membership Affairs of the NCAA, outlines the distinct barriers disallowing CHL players NCAA eligibility.

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I received this document from an inside source and was puzzled by the simplicity that would be involved in allowing CHL players to head down South. Then I began wondering what the ever so modest “stipend” CHL players receive is really for.

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Weekly Links: Shea Weber signing indicates financial disparities between NHL teams; Homophobic hockey reporter gets criticized; Updates on the Jacob Trouba saga

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers.

Hockey Links

  • Shea Weber signed a massive offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. Adam Proteau examines the disparity between large market teams such as the Flyers and small market teams such as the Nashville Predators. [The Hockey News]
  • Meanwhile, James Mirtle answers the question: “Why [do] NHL teams cry poor despite the league’s record growth?” A very interesting read about the distribution of revenue between teams. [Globe and Mail]
  • Good post comparing Gary Bettman’s rhetorical two-stepping about concussions in hockey with the tobacco industry’s tactics to defend itself against criticism. [The Hockey Writers]
  • A journalist for the Niagara Falls Reporter published a homophobic defense of fighting in hockey: “The NHL’s abominable, “You Can Play” promotion, which all but endorses homosexuality in hockey, is among its top priorities. Thanks to Gary Bettman and his ilk, enforcers are out, but gays are in. . . . Fortunately for Sabres fans, the team has not come out of the closet and the signing of tough guy, John Scott is an indication there might be some shred of manliness left in an otherwise emasculated organization.” Brutal. [Niagara Falls Reporter]
  • Reaction in the hockey blogosphere was swift, with many jumping to condemn the reporter and the newspaper. Pensions Plan Puppets was among the first to respond. [Pension Plan Puppets]
  • Chris Peters is doing a great job covering the recruiting scandal involving the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL and Jacob Trouba, who has committed to play at Michigan University next year. First up, some info about the Rangers suing the student newspaper that broke this story. [United States of Hockey]
  • Next up, Peters provides a helpful overview of the competition between NCAA and CHL teams to recruit talented players to their respective leagues. A very good read to understand the complexity of the recruitment process. [United States of Hockey]
  • Former Colorado Avalanche enforcer Scott Parker gave a lengthy two-part interview to Mile High Hockey that, amongst many other issues, provides some fascinating insights into “the Code” in hockey when Parker discusses Todd Bertuzzi’s infamous attack on Steve Moore. [Mile High Hockey: Part I and Part II]
  • The interview drew a number of responses from the hockey blogosphere. Jake Goldsbie had a good post about the culture of violence in hockey, including Parker’s assessment of Moore. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Will the New York Islanders move to Brooklyn? John Imossi gives five reasons why it could happen. [The Hockey Writers]
  • Greg Wyshynski explains how the NHL’s TV various deals may help reduce the possibility of a lockout. [Puck Daddy]
  • Brandon Worley has a review of Goon. If you missed it in March, I also recommend checking out Matt and Marty’s review of the film on this blog. [Defending Big D]
  • Finally, some very sad news: Jessica Ghawi (AKA Jessica Redfield), a hockey blogger and aspiring sport journalist, was among those killed at the recent shooting at a Colorado movie theatre. She was known by many hockey bloggers and her passing inspired many moving tributes. RIP Jessica. [Puck Daddy; United States of Hockey]

General Sport Links

  • Penn State finally removed the statue of Joe Paterno from its campus. [TSN]
  • Dave Zirin has an interesting and persuasive argument against abolishing the Penn State football program. [Edge of Sports]
  • The NBA votes to place adverts on jerseys. Yikes. How long until the NHL follows suit? [Globe and Mail]

Weekly Links: Brian Burke criticized for marching in Pride Parade; Who was hockey’s first goon?

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers.

Hockey Links

  • Interesting historical piece by Iain Fyffe looking at the emergence of the “goon” or “thug” in hockey, in which he argues that it was the Broad Street Bullies who first brought the role of pure goon into the sport. [Hockey Historisis]
  • Brian Burke’s decision to march in Toronto’s Pride Parade, instead of man the phones on the first day of Free Agency, has drawn criticism. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, Burke spoke in support of the You Can Play Project about the prospects of a gay hockey player playing in the NHL. [TVO]
  • Ken Campbell reports that NHL players will be much more engaged in this summer’s CBA negotiations than they were in the 2004-05 labour process, and the NHLPA will be “more active [and] organized.” [The Hockey News]
  • Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov has been criticized by the Edmonton media for excessive celebrations in a rookie camp. Justin Bourne urges media and fans not to crush the fun out of creative and exuberant players. [Backhand Shelf]
  • A controversy may be brewing, as blue-chip prospect Jacob Trouba was reportedly offered $200,000 to forgo his commitment to Michigan University in order to play for the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. [United States of Hockey]
  • His family has released a statement denying the allegations. This may be the end of this issue, but the topic of illegitimate payments (or offers) by CHL teams to junior players should certainly be an important topic to keep an eye on in the future. [United States of Hockey]
  • Alex Radulov has left the Nashville Predators and returned to the KHL. Dmitry Chesnekov wonders: is this the end of his NHL career? [Puck Daddy]
  • This post is from March, so apologies for not posting it until now. But Nathan Kalman-Lamb’s post about Sidney Crosby and injury is definitely worth a read. [Nathan Kalman-Lamb]
  • Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes has had his precedent-setting 25-game suspension, which was given during the playoffs for a headshot to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa, reduced to 21 games by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. [Puck Daddy]

General Sport Links

  • Elena Chou has a strong piece about racism at the recent Euro 2012 tournament and in soccer more generally. [Left Hook]
  • Interesting post about militarism in Major League Baseball. [Runs Batted Out]
  • South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius has qualified for the London Olympics, and will be the first amputee to ever compete in the Games. [CTV]

Some thoughts on today’s “Free Agent Frenzy”

At noon EST today, the NHL’s free agency period opens. At a basic level, this means that players whose contracts have expired or been bought out, and who are eligible for unrestricted free agency (UFA), can begin fielding offers from NHL teams and are free to sign contracts as of 12:00 PM. But over the past number of years, this deadline has taken on increasing significance to teams, fans, players and media. TSN labels July 1 the “Free Agent Frenzy” and has a full studio panel of its hockey “insiders” breaking the news as signings go down. Sportsnet will offer a similarly hyped TV spectacle.

Back in February, Matt Ventresca wrote a great post that labelled the trade deadline “The Great Canadian Pseudo-Event.” Matt described the importance of media, in particular TSN, in making the trade deadline and other events into spectacles:

The trade deadline is a logistical technicality that passes virtually unnoticed in other sports, yet TSN (here is the marketing genius part) has transformed this non-event into one of the most anticipated days on the NHL calendar and has forced its competitors (most noticeably, Rogers Sportsnet) to follow their model of relentless, wall-to-wall coverage. In many ways, the trade deadline has eclipsed other hockey media spectacles like the NHL Draft and the All-Star Game (although TSN is also trying to change that with their “All-Star Fantasy Draft” gimmick) as must-see TV – or at least as a reason to spend 9 hours continually refreshing tsn.ca.

Free Agent Frenzy similarly smacks of a corporate-produced, over-hyped, pseudo-event. It feels as though TSN executives thought “Hey, let’s take a routine part of the NHL’s labour process and turn it into a massive TV spectacle. People will totally eat it up!” While I certainly feel that Canadian media networks like TSN, along with Sportsnet and the Score, were driving forces in the creation of the Frenzy, there are a variety of factors that have contributed to its massive surge in popularity. It is thus a bit of a “chicken and egg” scenario when attempting to determine the influence of the media and the mass spectacle of a psuedo-event. Read more of this post

Weekly Links: NHLPA and owners begin CBA negotiations; Social media and hockey analytics; Plans for new arena in Markham

Proposed Markham arena (Image from: http://www.cbc.ca/)

Welcome to Hockey in Society’s Weekly Links post. This feature highlights articles or blog entries that are related to Hockey in Society’s areas of interest and that may be of interest to the site’s readers.

Hockey Links

  • Lots of chatter about the discussion between NHL owners the NHL Players’ Association as they begin to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. David Shoalts has a good overview of the key issues in this negotiation. [Globe and Mail]
  • Meanwhile, Kukla’s Corner has the details of the NHLPA’s 31-man negotiating committee. Lots of prominent players are involved on the committee, including Henrik Zetterberg (Red Wings), Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes), Shea Weber (Nashville Predators, and John Tavares (New York Islanders). [Kukla's Corner]
  • Hockey in Society contributor Sunil Agnihotri discusses information overload in the digital age, with specific discussion of the various ways in which hockey fans can consume the sport through (new) media. [Super Fan. 2.0]
  • More social media news: the Detroit Red Wings are hosting a social media meet-up at the Social Media Day Detroit conference. [Kukla's Corner]
  • Daniel Wagner reports on “the next stage in hockey analytics,” discussing an advanced stats tracking system that is becoming popular in the NBA. [Backhand Shelf]
  • The plans for the new hockey arena in Markham, ON have been released. The 20,000+ seat arena is aiming to open 2014 and hoping to host the 2015 World Junior Championships. [TSN]
  • Bruce Dowbiggen reports that the NHL is considering adding a Sunday night Canadian broadcast in addition to the traditional Saturday Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. This may mean that the CBC maintains the HNIC rights while TSN and Sportsnet have the opportunity to broadcast more games featuring Canadian teams. [Globe and Mail]
  • An interesting post by Greg Wyshinki about Sidney Crosby’s new 12-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and how the team is unable to insure it because of Crosby’s concussion history. [Puck Daddy]
  • Pete Cunningham writes about the anticipated economic impact of the 2013 Winter Classic for Ann Arbor businesses. The game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will take place on January 1, 2013. [AnnArbor.com]
  • Patrick Hoffman with an interesting look at hockey participation and popularity in sunbelt states, including some interesting tidbits about the support NHL hockey teams have given to local hockey teams. The Nashville Predators, for example, were active in the movement to save the University of Alabama-Hunstsville Division 1 NCAA hockey program. [Kukla's Corner]
  • The KHL confirms that it will play two regular season games in 2013 in Brooklyn, New York. SKA St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow will face off at the new Barclays Arena. [Puck Daddy]
  • The Phoenix Coyotes sale looks set to move ahead, as a court overturns the lawsuit by the Goldwater Institute to stymie Glendale’s subsidization of the Coyotes’ arena. Lots of politics in this arena situation. [Puck Daddy]
  • I hope to write more about this on this blog, but I wrote a post at Nucks Misconduct about Pavel Bure and his legacy with the Vancouver Canucks. The post is not particularly critical, but more of a fan’s look at the player. However, there are some interesting aspects to the story. Bure, who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame this week, had a turbulent departure from Vancouver that involved some character assassination in the media. An interesting example of the power of the media to shape popular understandings of a player and his/her legacy. [Nucks Misconduct]

General Sport Links

  • AWESOME BLOG ALERT: Tyler Shipley has started a new blog called Left Hook, which takes a critical look at different aspects of sport. You can read Tyler’s excellent post about the politics between Canada and Honduras and the role of soccer in Honduran politics. [Left Hook]
  • Also on Left Hook: Marty Clark, who co-authored a review of Goon on this blog, examines and critiques assumed “truths” in sport and discusses way of deconstructing these “common sense” understandings. A great read. [Left Hook]
  • Hockey in Society contributor Courtney Szto discusses the gender implications of nude athlete calendars, as Canada’s National Senior Women’s Rugby team releases a fundraising calendar. Are these portrayals empowering or exploitative? Should national sport teams have to resort to nude calendars to raise funds? Lots of interesting questions explored in this post. [The Rabbit Hole]
  • Saudi Arabia will, for the first time, allow women to compete at the Olympic Games. [Globe and Mail]